Warriors

Steph says Dubs '100 percent' benefit from long layoff

Warriors

A sports-radio staple is a question the Warriors will answer when the NBA season begins next month.

Rest, or rust?

Two hundred eighty-seven days will have passed between Golden State's last game (March 10) and the start of the regular season (Dec. 22), as the Warriors didn't participate in the NBA bubble just outside of Orlando, Fla. when the season resumed this summer amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Warriors are used to considerably shorter offseasons after appearing in five straight NBA Finals at the end of the previous decade, and star point guard Steph Curry thinks the time off can give the Warriors an edge at the start of next season.

"One hundred percent, but we've gotta take advantage of it," Curry said Tuesday on the "Callaway Golf Podcast."

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That will be easier said than done.

The Warriors will have had a longer rest than many of their peers, but they won't have had more time to develop chemistry. Golden State held an offseason minicamp that ended last month, but this iteration of the Warriors hasn't played together a whole lot.

Curry, who played just five games last season after breaking his left hand, played only one game last season with Andrew Wiggins, whom the Warriors acquired at the trade deadline. Golden State still is trying to integrate Wiggins, but will also introduce wing Kelly Oubre Jr., No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman and free-agent signings Brad Wanamaker and Kent Bazemore into the rotation. The Warriors also will have to contend with the season-long absence of Klay Thompson.

 

Training camps open on Dec. 1, three weeks before the start of the regular season. That's not a lot of time, especially when you consider the Warriors will play a condensed, 72-game regular season set to end in May. In-season practice time could be limited as a result, especially for stars Curry, 32, and Draymond Green, 30.

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Golden State has no choice but to get up to speed from the jump.

"I think the advantage that we have in rest, other teams have in just familiarity and getting reps in over the course of the summer and in the bubble," Curry continued. "We've been trying to manufacture practices and obviously stay safe. Get guys together, run pickup, get our skill work in and all that type of stuff. ... It's a long time and we feel well-rested, but we gotta get to that level of championship-caliber play pretty quickly knowing that games are gonna be coming every other day pretty much."

Curry's absence has been slightly longer than the Warriors', as he last played on March 5. That was the only game among Golden State's final 61 that Curry appeared in, and he also was an excused absentee from the Warriors' minicamp.

No matter how fast he and his teammates hit the ground running, Curry's just excited to play again.

"Come Dec. 22, it's going to be good to see the lights back on," Curry concluded.